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Yes, To take a pass does mean to receive a pass from a team mate.
Example: She took the pass in her stride means that the player was running and then continued running after taking a pass from another player.
First blood here refers to the first goal of the game – you may sometimes see the phrase ‘to draw first blood’ meaning to score the opening goal.
Humbled means that the Spanish players have been brought down a level after their heavy defeat. They were brought down to earth.
I would agree with Tdol that fans do not see their team as an impersonal group. For instance, I would often use ‘we’ or ‘us’ to talk about my favourite team, i.e very much a personal matter. Therefore, Tottenham are playing well/badly.
Thanks Niklaus for the comment on AE and BE use, which would suggest the following:
Brazil wins the Confederation Cup (AE)
Brazil win the Confederations Cup (BE)
Deft here means to have skill or good technique; the player has a very good left foot. It is often used to describe something good or beautiful in football.
Other collocations with deft include:
- a deft touch
- a deft through ball / deft pass
Any more collocations with deft?
According to this BBC Learning website you can use the singular or plural verb form with some collective nouns such as ‘team’.
They suggest that when you talk about a team as an impersonal group then the singular form is often used (the team is…); while if you see the team as a group of individual players then the plural form is used (Spurs are playing well…).
Here are some examples from today’s Guardian football page:
a. ‘It’s reasonably easy to understand why a team gets caught on a break…’
b. ‘PSG have known for weeks about Ancelotti’s desire to join Madrid and they have been engaged in a …’
c. ‘Real have not hidden their desire to sign Bale…’
Yes, there is definitely a sense of surprise and speed involved. A possible synonym could be ‘pounce’?
Example: ‘The team pounced to sign the player’ suggests that he transfer happened before any other team could react.